Menopause and Heart Palpitations
Have you ever woken up to realize that your heart is beating relentlessly? Can you sometimes feel your heart skipping a beat, or racing for no reason whatsoever? If you are a woman between 35 and 55, you could be experiencing common a symptom of perimenopause, which is the stage just before menopause. The majority of pre-menopausal women experience some sort of menopause symptoms, ranging from the mild to the intense. One of the most common symptoms of menopause is the hot flash, which is often accompanied by heart palpitations.
What are Heart Palpitations
If you are consciously aware of your heart beating, you are probably having a heart palpitation. Also known as an irregular heartbeat or cardiac arrhythmia, heart palpitations can afflict anyone at anytime, but heart palpitations and menopause usually go together.
Heart palpitations are accompanied by the sensation of your heart skipping a beat or beating too many times within a specific time period. Heart palpitations usually occur sporadically over a period of two to three months. Heart palpitations may accompany hot flashes, another common symptom of menopause, increasing your heart rate between 8 and 16 beats a minute. Some women have been known to experience heart rates of up to 200 beats per minute when experiencing heart palpitations.
What Causes Heart Palpitations During Menopause?
Heart palpitations during menopause are generally considered a result of fluctuating hormones. Constantly changing levels of estrogen and progesterone can wreak havoc on your body, causing your heart to pound aggressively or your body to sweat profusely. If you are taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) you may also notice an increase in heart palpitations at the beginning of your treatments.
Usually heart palpitations will go away within a few months, after your hormones have settled down a little. Menopause and palpitations commonly occur together and do not indicate health problems in and of themselves.
Other Causes of Heart Palpitations
Menopause is not the only cause of heart palpitations, so even if you are menopausal, it is important to get any irregular heartbeat checked out. The most common cause of heart palpitations is ingesting too many stimulants. Alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, decongestants, and diet pills all contain chemicals that stimulate the heart. Too much of these stimulants can confuse your heart and cause it to beat out of control. Fluid loss can also cause an imbalance in your electrolytes
Other causes of heart palpitations could be more serious and require medical attention. Anemia, hypoglycemia, and certain thyroid conditions can all cause heart palpitations. On occasion, heart palpitations can be an indicator of heart disease or valve disorders. While menopausal women are at increased risk for heart disease, it is very rare for perimenopausal women to develop any symptoms of the disease.
The Beat Goes On
If you are finding yourself suffering from heart palpitations during menopause, there are a few things you can do to restore your rhythm to normal levels. Avoid smoking, drinking caffeinated beverages, or taking diet pills during menopause. These things will exacerbate your heart palpitations and make it difficult to get on with daily life.
If you are working out, walking around, or being active when you notice your heart racing, stop your activities and rest. A fast heartbeat is a sign that your body needs to recuperate, so it is important for you to lie down and breathe deeply. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth for five minutes. This should restore your normal heartbeat. Meditation in the morning and evenings can also help to prevent episodes of heart palpitations. Try not to worry. Heart palpitations and menopause are normal things.
Learn how to take your pulse from your doctor. Find out your normal heart rate so you will be able to decide if you are having heart palpitations or not. If your heart rate seems extremely high, or is accompanied by dizziness, fainting, or tightness in the chest of neck, go to the hospital to get checked out.